Cloud costs have a way of multiplying over time and become more and more difficult to manage. Even tech-minded managers who understand the cloud struggle with creeping overspend. Are you actually using all the resources you are paying for? Do these resources need snapshots, load balancing, and backup? What about disaster protection? If you don’t understand your invoice, it becomes very hard to control your costs.
The various ways we host, store, and access cloud services today is a far cry from the days when on-premise computing was the norm. The management of resources and approvals in a cloud-based team is hard to achieve. Today we encourage you to ask yourself 3 questions to see if you’re spending more than you should in the Cloud.
Question 1: Are My Resources Properly Organized for Visibility?
Your cloud platform should be delivering you insights and analysis of your costs in real time. But unless you understand the data you’re being fed, and what your resources are being used for, then it’s very easy to see those costs spin out of control. Your first step in cloud cost management will always be to make sure all your cloud resources have the correct tagging and meta data.
Solution: Develop a System of Taxonomy Governance
The word taxonomy refers to the science of the classification of objects. It’s very important to have a way of labeling your assets to make them findable. A consistent naming system across your data allows for a strong data governance strategy for your cloud computing resources. When creating your Governance System tags must be consistent and applied to all teams in the company. If properly implemented you can have full visibility into all your resources as well as make automation implementation easy.
Question 2: Where am I Over-Provisioning?
Answering this question should help you to stop paying for space, or for things, you aren’t using. There is a cost to each item you’re paying for, from CPU cores to RAM, virtual machines, storage capacity, and so on. These items on their own are affordable but taken together on a monthly basis, they start to add up. And because they are monthly operating expenses rather than initial capital expenses they fluctuate, and they are harder to cut decisively.
Solution: Start a process of Right Sizing
The best solution to the problem of over-provisioning is known as right sizing instances to match workloads.
A recent whitepaper from Amazon Web Services summed up right sizing neatly, explaining that: “Right sizing is the process of matching instance types and sizes to your workload performance and capacity requirements at the lowest possible cost. It’s also the process of looking at deployed instances and identifying opportunities to eliminate or downsize without compromising capacity or other requirements, which results in lower costs.”
You should start by identifying opportunities to right size. Then gather the tools you need, and initiate an ongoing process that will lead to cost optimization in the cloud.
Question 3: Am I Storing Junk?
As your business grows and evolves, you will have more and more cloud storage needs. It stands to reason that more and more of it will be useless to you. Backups and snapshots are great for emergencies, but unless you remove old copies regularly, you will be paying to store junk.
Solution 1: Use Automation to Delete Unused Resources
While it may seem like a huge task to keep track of all your resources, but when you have the right cloud tagging system it’s easy to automate clean-up tasks. Processes can be created to automatically delete backups after a certain date, delete resources that haven’t been used past a certain date, and more.
Another common issue is storing certain static data or resources for a specific amount of time due to compliance and audit requirements. These resources will rarely need to be accessed and don’t require top-of-the-line storage.
Solution 2: A fluid system of Cold Storage
Cold storage is defined as the operational mode and storage system for inactive data The kinds of data you need to retain but seldom need to use in a hurry (for example, legal data or copies of information) should be transferred into long-term cold storage.
It has explicit trade-offs when compared to other storage solutions. It takes longer to access this data if you need to, and there are extra fees if you try to access it too often. But it is a fact that cold storage is more affordable, the hardware is less expensive and it all requires less maintenance.
If You’re Struggling with Cloud Cost ask an Expert
One of the best strategies to regain control overspending is to commit to a managed IT solutions service that decreases risk while increasing your ability to create dynamic cloud products and services. This will provide a far higher level of job satisfaction, and it also reduces costs fast. Managers should strive to see their developers growing the company’s cloud infrastructure with smart solutions that don’t drive costs out of control.
For more information on regaining control of your spending, get in touch here.